The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is celebrating a new addition to its family, which is a baby kudu born October 14, it announced last Thursday.
The male lesser kudu calf was born at the Zoo’s Cheetah Conservation Station, to Rogue, a five-year-old female, and Garrett, a nine-year-old male.
Only a few weeks before his birth, his grandmother Shirley died at age nine due to the complications stemming from birthing process as she had a stillborn calf.
The newborn male calf is healthy and strong according to a neonatal veterinary exam carried out on October 15. He was observed by keepers to be nursing, moving well and exploring his environment during routine animal health assessments.
He reportedly gained six pounds by the time he was nine days old, weighing 19 pounds, while he was around 13 pounds at the time of his veterinary exam.
Keepers have provided a quiet space for the calf to bond with his mother. He also has a 10-month-old brother Kushukuru, which was present at the birth. Kushukuru is allowed to spend evenings with the calf and their mother.
The Zoo has scheduled the calf’s public debut for later this fall. All the details about the debut will be shared on the Zoo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts as the date nears. In the meantime, Garrett and Kushukuru will be available at the Cheetah Conservation Station for visitors to see.
The calf’s mother Rogue was transferred to the Zoo in October 2016 from the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri in order to breed with Garrett.